Since moving to Sweden, I have been deep diving into the Swedish art scene and Swedish artists. There are so many incredibly talented people here, which was one of my main motivations for putting together the exhibition with AucArt. I want to shine a light on some of the fantastic artworks being made in Scandinavia. There is a unique sensibility and way of approaching art here; I think landscape, in a broad sense, is important, as well as myths, folklore and stories.
For this sale, I looked with my eye as a collector. I look for originality. A lot of people have said that all art is derivative, but even with that statement, you can tell whether the artist is breaking the norm and trying to tell something personal. If the work comes from a personal place, it inherently occupies a unique perspective. Another thing I look for is whether I can sense the spirit of the artist. It’s an elusive quality since it is non-scientific and outside a perceptible realm.
When I create a piece, I throw everything on the canvas. I call it vomit. It’s very immediate, and that’s my way of trying to capture the exactitude of emotions. At the same time, there’s a more academic side of me where I take time to research, to blend things together. I think it’s interesting that my generation has turned around to go back into the history of things after living outside of Japan for so long, returning to a place our parents have tried so hard to step away from.
My current practice begins with taking inspiration from images. The way I see images is that it presents a secondary reality. The proliferation of media and technology has made it challenging to approach subjects through a primary source. I began to accept painting as a way to communicate with this struggle, almost like depicting a tertiary reality. What you see on the canvas is a world that belongs to me, created by me.
I was the ‘artist’ of the class in primary school – though the concept of an ‘artist’ wasn’t really known to us at that age. I was just the friend who could draw things. And the act of drawing always absorbed me. When I was a young child and my parents wanted some peace and quiet, they’d give me pencils and paper and I’d be out of their hair for hours! So, I’ve had an active imagination and been drawn to image making for as long as I can remember.
The themes I work on touch on social relations, female sexuality and psychological angst. I work both intentionally and experimentally. When I started working in the studio, after art school, I focused on the subject of the family for a while. Many of the paintings I made between 2012 and 2017 were of my family, my parents, episodes I remembered, or dreams. Then I moved on to other themes, such as the Bacchanal and the pleasure garden on which I am now working.
I think I always saw myself as an artist, I grew up in a household surrounded by art and my mother is a sculpture. As cliche as it sounds I think it was my first language. I suffered from a severe speech disorder and was put into the autisic bracket. Normal communication was not how I entered this world. Instead I used images to communicate, landscapes and flowers were when I was happy and dark muddy pictures were when I was angry.
I first saw myself as an actual artist in only 2019. I have been painting regularly since middle school but 2019 was a transformational year for me when I painted a piece that was the first work I finished that actually told a story that reflected me who I am and how I felt in a particular moment in time, not simply a painting I wanted to paint. This painting made me feel seen and truly solidified my ideology as an artist.
I was born in Kenya. I’m British and currently live and work on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, UK. My father was a diplomat so much of my upbringing was spent abroad or in boarding school. My very first memories are of living in Czechoslovakia during the seventies when it was under communist rule. It was a very difficult place to bring up a child and I feel some of the underlying disquietude in my work definitely stems from that time.
I grew up in London and New Forest. Spending most weekends in Hampshire meant I was always surrounded by nature which I think has definitely had an impact on my work. I come from a large, artistic family so have been constantly inspired by the people around me too!
It started when I was pretty young, I was a shy kid at school and loud at home, it was a way that I bridged that gap and came out of my shell. I would draw portraits of my friends and my teachers, kids would ask me to draw things for their projects. Years later I started college as a biology major and worked lots of random jobs- but drawing was something I continued to do on the side.
I was taught to paint as a child, so art has always been something I’ve done. I studied illustration and then moved to Mexico City where I was very influenced by the european, female surrealist painters. I suddenly felt I could paint more imaginatively, especially being so far from familiarity and in a totally different surrounding of light and colour.
I have always felt the need to paint and create, but I think I probably only a few years ago when I was able to afford my first studio. The difference of having my own dedicated space that I could go to just to paint, instead of my bedroom, was completely transformative and it definitely changed my practice. I moved from acrylic to oils and was able to work bigger and more freely!
I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. My upbringing was pretty strict, I have always been forced to study excellent, get only higher marks. Perhaps from childhood I lacked freedom and sloppiness in my life) maybe that’s why I decided to become an artist because for me it’s the highest liberty and freedom of self expression.
I grew up in a Paris suburb with my parents and my sister. My father is a painter and his studio was in our flat and I was used to seeing him work. I kept from him the seeking of the pleasure of working alone in the calm studio, a perfect state of being, and also his vision of art. My mother worked in a lawyer’s office as a secretary. She taught me patience and precision in work through sewing and mosaic, and not to be afraid of restarting everything if needed.
I feel that art has always played a role in my life, but certain events definitely called me to spend more time on art making. I think that many of the classes I took in college helped me see what it was like to have a studio practice, and I continued to follow my passions from there. I also began freelance writing for Artsy after college—having a job in the art world certainly helped me become immersed in it and encouraged me to continue making work.
I was born and raised in Japan. My father is a psychoanalyst and he often brought me to his office when I was a child. he had a big wooden box filled with sand and tons of miniature figures displayed on a shelf in his office room at that time. That was there for a type of children’s therapy called “Sandplay therapy” a method by which the doctor was able to analyze a child’s unconscious thoughts by the miniature world they created with the toys on the sand landscape inside of the box.
My work gravitates around questions that touch memory and souvenir. I enjoy drawing and painting the people around me, the spaces I am in and the objects I use. Like in a secret journal, I document my encounters with coloured pencils. I like the variety of faces, the emotions and the perceptions that you feel by looking at people.
I was born and raised in Rome, Italy. Rome is a fascinating and nostalgic city, a bridge to the past. I grew up engaging with the art and history that surrounded me in my everyday life. This has shaped me and inspired me greatly, in ways that I am still progressively discovering as I continue to grow as a creative and individual.
There are so many sources of inspiration that strengthen and stimulate my imagination towards painting. I remember starting learning different foreign languages at a young age. This allowed me to genarate interest in reading lots of poems and short stories in different languages.
I’m from Dorset, on the south coast of England. I’m fortunate that I’ve always been supported with my work, and this has definitely given me the confidence to pursue art as a career. But despite my love for the seascapes I was surrounded by growing up, I’ve never wanted to make work about scenery. If I’d have grown up in London I’d have probably been a landscape painter!
I am from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My upbringing was modest, we moved around a bit. I spent a lot of time outdoors in beautiful natural environments, and developed a sense of wonder for nature and beauty. I was raised Catholic and this gave me an appreciation for symbolism and spiritualism. I had some health problems in my adolescence, and became shy, anxious, and withdrawn.
I did some work about baby clothes and maternity wear. I found it interesting how babies’ clothing is grouped by months, whereas in adults you can have one size fits all. With a sustainable conscience, I want to reduce the amount of clothing bought around these times in our lifetime; for example, seeing how clothes can adapt to our shape using stretch or pleating.
I was born in London, and I grew up above my dad’s restaurant in Victoria in central London. When I was 11 we moved to the countryside sort of near Oxford. My mum is a teacher. I have three younger brothers, two of them, Ranald and Angus, are also artists, the other one, Hector, is more of a writer. We all get on pretty well, I really feel really lucky to have so much in common with my brothers, I like to talk to them about my work and my ideas, about books I am reading, for advice, I trust their opinions.
I’m from a small town just outside of Montreal, Canada. The community I grew up in was a mix of suburban and rural; picture lots of woods but also farmland and horses. I remember wandering through forest trails often, either with a friend or my dog or alone. I think this is at least partly why I like painting forests and plants. I like the quietness of it, the shelter.
I spent a lot of time drawing as a child and most of my spare time during high school in the art studios but I didn’t start seeing myself as an artist until later when I decided to go back to school and study for my BFA. I don’t think you need any qualifications to be an artist but it was something that helped me.
I have had a strong attraction to painting since I was 2, or 3 years old. At my home in my hometown, I still have my first work – a lot of graffiti on the walls. I have been painting and drawing for most of my life. For me, there is a certain physical and psychological urgency to the act, just as insects adjust to their external environment, changing the texture of their skin, and their state of being.
I come from the far north-east of Italy, very close to Venice. That region of the country usually has conservative tendencies and traditional minded people. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I always felt like it wasn’t the place for me. That got me to moving internationally just two weeks after graduating highschool. After that I lived in Portugal, the United States, and more recently in China.
I’m from London, my mum’s a nursery teacher and my dad is a painter and decorator. My mum would take me and my siblings to museums during the holidays. Visiting the V&A and seeing treasures and ancient objects made from different materials always filled me with so much joy.
I imagine I have always seen myself as a bit of an artist growing up. I think most kids do. As I see it, as Children we all share this kind of dream. That is until life makes other plans with our time. Also having an older brother who was quite skilled from an early age, I desperately wanted to be as good as him. Though I was hungry for it, I really hadn’t found my artistic ambition till quite late, mid to late 20’s.
I was born in the Iranian capital of Tehran after the 1979 revolution and during the Iran-Iraq war. My parents were actively engaged with one of the socialist parties in Iran during the revolution. They migrated to Tehran from their small town in north of the country, just before the revolution took place and had me in 1983.
I am from China. I grew up in a middle class family. My parents also work in the art industry.They are really supportive. However, their relationship between each other was not very well. Growing up in that kind of tense environment made me pay very much attention to daily emotions. That was my first inspiration on articulating intimacy.
I’ve been drawing and playing music from a young age. It just continued to be something I did as I grew older and through my teenage years. It was inevitable that I would go to art college. But it started quite young. My father taught me guitar when I could hold it properly, and I’ve been drawing pictures of people and family members when I was young too.
When I was a kid I wanted to make animated movies and computer games and that gave me a purpose to pursue. I really felt like I’ve worked it all out in my head. I had a very romantic and naive view on how it would be, but then one on a vacation to the states I remember we visited some Disney animation Studios and I think it was shot down because they moved production to a sweatshop or something and I remember feeling really depressed. It kind of broke the illusion.
It’s common for artists to struggle with the label and self-doubt often got to me in my early days of artmaking. I remember a conversation I had with my painting teacher about this in 2011 who made me understand that this doubt is part of the process and sometimes a driving force to push my practice further. That thought really stuck with me.
I know I can draw and I love drawing since I was a child. However, the first begin to see myself as an artist was not because of drawing but writing. I immersed in writing prose when I was in middle school. That was the first time how special it is to create something. And after soaking more knowledge about visual art, I started to study how to be a painter, which is the most proper way for me to express myself.
I consider my paintings to be in constant motion, meaning they are constantly mutating and anything that happens makes me consider changing my approach. The first lockdown for example really made me change my perspective, considering life went online and I had no access to physical libraries anymore, I immersed myself onto digital content and wondered how my painting practice would survive this.
Sometimes it is painting that comforts me and solves my weary. Paintings are my everything, and they are the most honest record and expression of my conscious and unconscious mind. I enjoy drawing so much.
I am from the South of Turkey: a town called Adana. I tend to collect a lot of images for references when I’m there, and as I’ve grown older, I collect stories too. It is a really nostalgic place and not objectively beautiful, which is a great opportunity for an artist! I moved to the UK when I was about seven and didn’t speak any English but surprisingly, it was a fairly smooth transition for me, I’m not sure if that was the case for the rest of my family.
I’m from London originally, but I’ve moved about more times than I can count, which in hindsight I think has been overall beneficial. I lived in France for 5 years during my teens and that was really formative, for better or worse. I draw a lot of inspiration from my experiences during that period. On paper I might be considered the typical, ‘mixed race working class raised by a single mother’ trope, but I’ve never found this to be detrimental, fortunately.
I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I am mixed race (half Chinese and half Ashkenazi Jewish) and was not raised religious. Growing up, I commuted to schools outside of my neighborhood where the majority of my peers were from affluent backgrounds that were unfamiliar to me. A lot of my childhood, I felt like I didn’t fit in whether it was how I looked, lack of religious views, or socioeconomic status.
I have seen myself as an artist since I can consciously remember my existence. One of my first memories of making art or craft was a toy my parents had gotten me – it was a flower-making set. I remember cutting out paper flowers through the perforated mould that was part of the set and colouring, painting, and glittering the petals to make them into bouquets.
I started drawing from a young age and always had an affinity for Art. I was fortunate to have parents who supported my creative pursuits when it came time for me to go to college. After trying oil paint for the first time, I knew it was something I would love for the rest of my life. I see myself as a painter first and foremost.
I am usually starting from unsure idea, something I saw or some idea which had appeared in previus work. I start painting but there is usually that crutial moment when it all fails and I must reconsider my vision of the painting, destroy it somehow and start again. Per Kirkeby calls it “Build upon ruins” and that is actually exactly what I feel.
I have been working on the same subject for 7 years, I call it “the good men”, a sort of character, guardian angels who evolve with me. They are a kind of family, serene and calm, they face us, look at us, there is something reassuring about them, they are together as a group. I don’t know who they really are, but they are my outlet, they comfort me and keep me company.
I’m from a small village in Azerbaijan, a Turkic country in the middle east that was, until the 90s, under soviet rule. I was very young when I moved to London and learned about western concepts such as divorce, mental health and McDonald’s happy meals that don’t make you happy.
Regarding my work’s aesthetic, it happens near the periphery of the figurative, seeking a balance between abstraction and representation, seduction and repulsion. I often create mixed media works by blending diverse techniques, attempting to convey a sense of ever-changing identity – a person layered, fragmented, in flux.
My work is about language, in particular visual language and how this works in a self-referential way. Part of this system are different contexts with each having their own set of meanings and narratives. What interests me is to show the often arbitrary characteristics of some of these narratives.
Being the last child gave me an excellent chance to know different aspects of my character. I remember public bathrooms with Safavid architecture and rooms with high and dark ceilings in which white naked faithful women left my questions answerless. Since then, my painting subjects unconsciously were vague images of women in the bathroom.
At the beginning, I was trying to eject myself from the streets, where I was such a delinquent, I was trying to reach for a better life. I tried art and that was it, it was the only thing that was keeping my mind busy and focused on positive things. That was the debut of a new era for me, I left everything behind.
I want to remind the beauty of what I have always kept inside and have always seen. The beautiful things I have seen in nature are reconstructed with my new expressions and colors. Beauty is not far away, and I always face beauty. In a fast-moving society, the purpose of my work is to evoke my passion and remind me of the beauty that is easy to forget.
My ideas are most often born in my dreams. Like a dream, my work has different levels of reading. My gesture is instinctive and often abstract line translates the reminiscences of the dream. Figurative elements are the tangible memories that are part of the composition
For me there was never really a moment when things got resolved and then that was it. It’s always a circuitous , rambling, circular and complex path. My themes change all the time, so there’ no one place I’m heading, but more and more I feel there’s a kind of consistency of pattern, or way of putting things together, and that gets more sophisticated as I go.
The possibility of touch through work is very important to me. I almost wrote transcendence as my answer, and it isnt so much this. I am interested in the sacred, for sure, but I see it as parallel to our everyday existence, which contains its moments of intensity, seemingly initiatic.
A lot of my inspiration comes through observing the flora and fauna endemic to my country, as well as learning from the cultures that once lived there that were tried to be wiped out, and that many latinos didn’t want to identify themselves with for a long time.
For me painting is a search for beauty and a dialogue with spirituality where the mysteries of rebellious life. It is a staging with creativity and with oneself that ends up being something universal when comparing itself with others. Painting is a bridge between the inner and the outer world.
I think a pivotal element of my upbringing was my independence. From a young age, I was asked to make pivotal life choices on my own and that has taught me to accept the responsibility of taking care of myself. It’s that ability to care for myself that originally brought me to seek out a cure for a bout of seasonal depression I was experiencing.
There is no ultimate or decisive message in my work. I think that part should remain the viewer’s privilege, as a private experience. I don’t consider painting as an instructive tool. For me, it is not a way of smuggling information as didactic strategy and neither is it a means of outlining a clear, linear narrative. Rather, I understand it as a fractured narrative.
My artistic practice reflects on the lived experiences of queer people, subverting the status quo by challenging preconceived notions of these identities. My practice creates a platform which foregrounds and these identities, celebrating desire and joyous shared experiences.
I feel like I daydream a lot so have always been interested in how the mundane is webbed with the fantastical, and I love magical realist fiction and genre bending stories such as the writings of Carmen Maria Machado and Haruki Murakami. I guess I’m interested in themes surrounding entanglement- the ways in which humans are entangled with the Earth, and how fantasy is entangled with the real.
My work explores the emotion of space, I want to investigate the stories that a space can tell and most importantly what a familiar space holds for me in relation to the people or memories that I associate with it. My painting involves many different layers of both figures and interior spaces.
If there’s a pivotal moment in my practise, I would say the experience of making nocturnal drawings have big impact on my practise. Colours, lights, shadows weaving together and form a place, even I really familiar with, very strange and full of space that could evoke imagination, I always find new feeling from this, and would bring this elements to none nocturnal artworks too.
I cannot remember a time that I wasn’t interested in art. When I was little my mother would teach me to draw little flowers and things and we would look at how-to-draw books together. I enjoyed making art so much that I never gave it up. Throughout school I attended all sorts of classes and workshops exploring a plethora of media. I can never say for sure if I am on the right track, or on any track at all.
At the moment my work is very much a meditative process for my own psyche, and I don’t always have an audience in mind. But my hope is that many of the themes I am exploring are easy to relate to. Ideally I want my work to have clarity of expression so that when the audience views a piece they feel that they have, at one time in their life, been in the same state of mind as me when I made the work.
As a female painter, I am appropriating and reshaping motifs from a masculine art historical tradition, borrowing from the language of Western art history, depicting subjects in a way that enforces a sense of claustrophobia, kicking back against the patriarchal forces that have brought them to be.
For me, painting is a kind of cycle. I often begin with the formal elements; shape, composition, colour. A particular combination of colours; layered – one thick, one thin – this shape next to that shape etc. Imagery is often secondary. But then throughout this process, the image can gain a kind of significance and as it is repeated through many painted incarnations, it becomes special to me.
Everything that surrounds me is an influence: books that I read, movies that I watch, where I travel and live, people I meet and know already. I am interested in painting my everyday life, what I can touch and see.
Many dark sides of the world that we are living in now inspired me to pursue. I don’t want to sound like a saviour here. But I always believe when you have anger or disappointment towards things around you, they drive me to imagine a better world that we could be in.
I am trying to bring the happy inner child within me by expressing and bringing bright bold happy colours and to challenge the narratives too that there is no shame to use certain colours such as pink if your a male or whatever bold colours you want.
More than anything, my work is an exploration of process and material. What’s interesting to me is taking an image from one place and translating it onto the surface of a painting in a way that makes it feel like it belongs in that world.
I create figurative pieces influenced by snippets of mythology and symbolism reworked into new stories. The pieces are often led by certain narratives or ideas which become disjointed when merged with motifs and details from other places.
My paintings focus on the ordinary moments of the everyday. I try to bring attention to the more subtle nuances and almost mundane events that inform our daily experiences. Visually, I examine the forms and structures that compose them and hope to discover and glorify these scenes often missed or overlooked.
My practice keeps evolving. I believe that challenges and experiments are essential, and this restlessness is what drives me to continue on my journey as an artist. My work is constantly fed with the inclusion of new materials, the adoption of different techniques and the creation of its own tools. This combination makes the day-to-day of the studio more and more productive.
Coming from an Armenian and Russian background has been the inspiration for the majority of my paintings. I am always digging for more within the traditions, culture, folklore etc. In its entirety, my work covers topics of identity, consciousness within society, solitude and self discovery.
During this time I wondered if I was going to die and what I would leave behind. And unfortunately, I didn’t leave much. So I swore to myself that after this operation I would do everything I could to live without regret and I would spend my life doing what I love art!
Something I always catch myself doing is analysing behaviours, mannerisms and routines. When I notice something funny, or something makes me feel a particular way, I make a mental note of them. Then that thing gets repeated or categorised through how I tell other people about it, and that’s sort of how I process it.
The best advice I ever got was to not be concerned with conventional methods of education. I’ve always resisted school. It just doesn’t work for me. I learn better as an apprentice or intern — and there’s no shame in that. The worst advice I ever got was that I should go to art school if I want to be an artist.
With Spring around the corner and the UK’s road map well underway, things are starting to look a little brighter. Visions of picnics in the sun aren’t looking so distant after all and perhaps reading outside might even be within reach? With that in mind, Book Club has decided to do things a little different this month, with the AucArt team sharing their recommendations for April's installment. We hope this selection of light-hearted reads will inspire your next book of choice, encourage you to pick up where you left off with the novel sitting by your bedside, or even spark a chat with a friend over a coffee.
When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina, a hairdresser and an astronaut all at once. I have been dancing since I was three, I have super long hair, and always have my head in the stars, so I think I am almost there!
The characters I draw are usually people who have a close relationship with me, or people or objects that have nothing to do with me and that I might have seen in books or social media. They become collaged in my mind and come out with my fingertips.
I lived with my mum on a council estate that the council knocked down a few years ago, but this is the first place I was submerged with art and design. My neighbours had different decor that incorporated their cultural heritage. My Morrocan neighbours had the most beautiful rugs and tapestry and my Caribbean neighbours had items in their homes that celebrated their home island. I guess the effect this has had on my career is that I appreciate art and style regardless of where it is.
In a time when adventure is restricted to the virtual and our everyday routines are playing on repeat within the confines of four walls, the world as we know it is beginning to feel a little small. A great book, however, has the extraordinary ability to transport us to different realms far from our realities (and responsibilities) all from the comfort of our own homes. This month we’ve gathered 9 books, hand selected by our artists that might take you somewhere a little unexpected. Whether it's journeying through the inner psyche, mythical lands or pastoral scenes, we’ve gathered a little something for everyone.
I would say that the key factor in my work is light; how I experience it emotionally and the effect it has on my subject – it’s what inspires me. My message is that there is beauty in the everyday, but we do need to be looking closely, get up early to see mist in the landscape, look at plants after they die, photograph that dress under water!
Though many museums and galleries around the world have temporarily closed their doors and the prospect of gallery hopping suddenly doesn’t sound so sanitary, fear not. If you are suffering from a restless mind, we’ve sourced a whole host of online gallery experiences for you to digitally stroll through and ease you out of your creative rut. From virtual tours, to cyber exhibitions, we’ve got you covered.
It hasn’t always been easy trying to find an artistic voice in a new country and at times I questioned my choice of pursuing an artistic career. But time and time again the art itself draws me back in and I realise I would never be able to live a fulfilling life without it.
I strive to always find new compositions, more or less subtle links between colors and primordial shapes, in suspense between the primitive form and a meaning. In the same way, I believe that I seek a balance in a life that is too fast and doesn’t offer eternal points of reference.
We hope you enjoyed sampling our first instalment of Book Club last month. Assuming you’ve come back for more, November’s selection has a lot to offer. Our artist’s have been creative this month, sharing a little something for everyone. From the critically acclaimed, to modern classics; poetry, or one for those hankering after a little self-reflection... During these times of uncertainty, it’s important that we look to literature to provide wisdom, laughter and perhaps most importantly, some much needed escapism.
In response to the (unrelenting) global pandemic many of us have rediscovered our love of reading. With museums and galleries closed, finding something to stimulate our minds is no easy feat. So, we’ve decided to ask some of our artist’s their favourite reads. Such times of uncertainty require the insight, wisdom and solace provided by literature
I don’t like planning my work too much. I’ll look at images, colours, or words until something stands out, but after that it’s about getting it down as quickly as possible. When I overthink things and change an idea a lot, it won’t get finished"
I think it’s very important for a curator to have an interest for what he/she may not understand. To transform a moment of ignorance or fear into excitement and curiosity, a willingness to learn, let's say"
I think there are three reasons why people create, those are therapy, communication, and intervention. I don't think that one is more important than the other or better than the other, but I do think that an artist is successful when they can do all three"
I think there are three reasons why people create, those are therapy, communication, and intervention. I don't think that one is more important than the other or better than the other, but I do think that an artist is successful when they can do all three"
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